Placement: A Rocha Kenya, Kilifi County.
My name is Gilbert Maneno a sinner who deserves nothing good from God but His wrath but am grateful to him because He has saved me by his grace alone. Am an ISA first-year apprentice placed at Kilifi County in a Christian organization called A Rocha Kenya. This organization is part of the larger A Rocha International, which is in 20 countries in the world. Its mission is to make God’s love for His world known by demonstrating how to practically care for it through scientific research, advocacy, environmental education, and sustainable community-based conservation programs. They are restoring habitats, educating the community, and empowering people to be agents and stewards of conservation.
I have several activities that I’m engaged in including but not limited to; doing one to one evangelism in the organization since we have many guests both international and domestic coming around, always having meaningful and targeted conversations with the workers, and we do have a Monday morning meeting every week that we meet for Bible study and prayers. I am also engaged directly during community work like market and beach clean-ups, and during this time I find time to share the gospel. During the week, I help in the finance department working together with the accountant of the organization. Here, I ensure that there is stewardship in handling the organization’s finances. During the weekend, I do a one-to-one Bible study with a certain young man. On Sunday, I do teach the teens at ACK St. James church in Gede. After this, we have a fellowship that runs from 3:30 pm-5:30 pm every Sunday that targets A Rocha Kenya employees and the neighbors. Here we do group Bible study, sing hymns together, sometimes watch, and discuss a movie particularly known as ‘the chosen’.
It has been a journey for me considering my previous mindset and perspective towards ministry. Before the program, I thought of ministry being something ‘good’ since it involves only preparing sermons and delivering them to people. However, this has not been the case with me here in Kilifi. I have been engaged in office work, as well as small group meetings and one-to-one, all of which encompass my ministry here.
Through various training from ISA and experiences from my placement, the Lord has been working on my heart to grow in righteousness, loving him, and being satisfied more in Him than in any other thing. Through the gospel, I have daily grown in the aspect of hating sin and loving holiness by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in me. The ministry training course both online and physical has made me daily desire to be a Christian hedonist.
As the saying goes, there is no road without a corner, and ministry has come along with its challenges. The greatest of it all has been the ability to balance my personal life and being able to live as a completely round person. Being far away from home has kept my family wondering what I am really doing if not working in my career or something to bring forth finances to my family. My greatest encouragement has been that in everything I do whether eating or drinking or whatever I do, I need to do it for the glory of God. My faith has grown in what I believe in and is motivated to meet Jesus on that glorious day He comes back for us.